Greg Norman, a golfing great, is one of many former PGA Tour players who have switched to the LIV Golf tour. That group does include players like Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson, but it does NOT include Tiger Woods, who is perhaps golf’s biggest star. And it’s not because LIV Golf spent any money at all to convince Woods to leave the company, according to a recent interview between the outspoken Norman and the Washington Post.
The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia supports LIV Golf. It bears a lot of political baggage as a result, which has already generated a lot of discussion. Norman has been charged with downplaying the Saudi government’s alleged involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by claiming he would rather concentrate on playing golf.
Perhaps because of this controversy, LIV has been forced to write some fairly large checks to attract top talent. Just this past week, it was made public that Dustin Johnson received $125 million in exchange for leaving the PGA. Chuck Mickelson? He had a $200 million price tag.
So how much would Tiger Woods’ acquisition have cost?
Getty Images/Andrew Redington
We don’t know if Woods has declined to play for LIV out of political reasons, but if Norman’s words are true it isn’t because of a lack of money. The “Shark,” a golfing legend, claims that Woods declined LIV’s “mind-blowingly enormous:
“We’re talking about high nine digits.”
Tiger Woods has repeatedly expressed his allegiance to the PGA in public, so it’s possible that no sum of money, not even a mind-bogglingly enormous nine-figure agreement, could persuade him to leave and contribute his skills and star power to the LIV Tour.
Large payouts, according to Norman, who serves as a spokesperson for LIV Golf, are a key part of what will keep luring elite talent to the tour. He even goes so far as to accuse the game’s executives, agents, and other power brokers of “conspiring against LIV to protect an antiquated system that prevents golfers from realizing their own power and worth amid a global movement of athlete empowerment.”
Norman, though, thinks that LIV’s substantial financial resources will ultimately help the game and its users. “God bless any players who decide to join the team. They’re going to be very wealthy.”
That would seem to be the case if Norman’s estimation of LIV’s offer to Tiger Woods is right.
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